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Old 09-18-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
jswinden
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Problem keeping visual focus with eyes

First off, I'm not sure if this is just my eyes getting older and more contrary or related to the design of the 350/650. I wear the progressive lens bifocals also referred to by no-line bifocals. For those not familiar with them, they have a small circle centered on the lenses where your eyes align that is for far sight. At the outer edge of that circle the lenses progressively change focus toward near objects--hence the name progressive lenses. The farther out from the center of the lenses the closer in the focus. I guess it is similar to macro up close.

At any rate, I read a lot on my 350 and Kindles and iPod touch 4G. I haven't noticed any additional eye strain with any of my eInk readers, and I've had a lot of them. (K2, K3, KDXG, 505, 300, 350, 600, 900.) I can read for hours on my Kindles without much problem. But I've noticed that after a short duration of time reading on my 350 I have a difficult time keeping my eyes focused on the eInk text. I have the silver 350, but I also had the silver 300 and never had this problem with it, so I doubt the silver color is an issue.

I am wondering though if the recessed screen of the 350 is a problem. The screen on the 350 is recessed appx. 0.1" below the bezel. This is considerably more than previous eInk models by Sony and considerably more than the Kindles. I can't help but wonder if my eyes are doing what autofocus cameras do when they are unsure of which object to focus on, that is, if I glance at the bezel perhaps my focus changes just enough to blur the text. I find that reading on the 350 I seem to struggle to keep the text in focus, and so I get eye strain fairly quickly.

Is anyone else experiencing this unusual eye strain behavior?

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Old 09-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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I also have progressive lenses, but not one of the new readers...yet.

Perhaps what you are experiencing is related to a combination of extremely sharp text and high contrast making it difficult for your eyes to focus? Have you tried different levels of ambient lighting?

Or maybe your eyes are sensitive to the the infared waves floating above the screen?
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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I am used to the Sony 505 and 600, when I first got my Kindle 3 I found my eyes tired easily, I even felt a bit off while reading it, similar to when I get new glasses. It passed after a day or two though and its fine now. I put mine down to the extra contrast on the pearl screen..........might be the same for you as you have jumped form the same screen to the new pearl as well......
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
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I have the nook, sony 900 and just got the kindle 3 yesterday. I will say that between the nook and the sony 900 I found the 900 easier to read on..and I think it was because it WAS less contrasty and I liked the font better. So, maybe there is something to having a more grey screen rather than bright white and crisp black. Having said that, I've read a few hours on the Kindle 3 and have noticed no real strain yet. I've been thinking I'll end up with the sony 950, but not so sure anymore..the 900 seems fine, maybe even nicer for me to read on than the pearl..but I need more time before I'm sure...
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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I even felt a bit off while reading it, similar to when I get new glasses......
Precisely! It is like getting adjusted to new glasses. I even got a very low grade headache behind my eyes. I hope it goes away. Odd that I don't notice it with the Kindles even though they have Pearl screens too.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:02 PM   #6
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I had a similar issue in adjusting from the PRS-500 to -505. I had headaches just like you describe. It went away after a few weeks, but it was very frustrating at the time. I even thought maybe it was the silver body and tried skins. I couldn't find any posts back then about the -505 causing headaches. All the posts were about how wonderful the new -505 screen was. I wondered what was wrong with me! Also I noticed you have the iPod Touch 4G in your list. When I've been using my iPhone 4 for awhile, I have difficulty readjusting my eyes from the retina display to my ereader screen. A lack of "visual focus" is a good descriptor for how I feel too.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:22 PM   #7
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I had a similar issue in adjusting from the PRS-500 to -505. I had headaches just like you describe. It went away after a few weeks, but it was very frustrating at the time. I even thought maybe it was the silver body and tried skins. I couldn't find any posts back then about the -505 causing headaches. All the posts were about how wonderful the new -505 screen was. I wondered what was wrong with me! Also I noticed you have the iPod Touch 4G in your list. When I've been using my iPhone 4 for awhile, I have difficulty readjusting my eyes from the retina display to my ereader screen. A lack of "visual focus" is a good descriptor for how I feel too.
I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing these symptoms.

With my iPod touch 2G if a read for 15 minutes or so then look across the room at my TV I cannot read any text on the TV. It is out of focus, and stays out of focus for quite some time. I don't really notice that so much with the retina display on the touch 4G. But I usually only read on the touch when in a very dark room or sitting outside at night. I usually use one of my eInk readers inside. Oh well, I have three weeks to adjust or i can return the 350, but I really want to keep it so I'm hoping my eyes eventually adjust.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:59 AM   #8
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it is odd, I thought it was just me too It really did feel the same as new glasses, strained eyes, achy, a bit dizzy even, very odd feeling. It did go away pretty quickly though and now is fine, even when I switch back to my old Sonys.....

wonder if I'll get it again when I get my 350 and 650's? I presumed I wouldnt as Im used to the kindle 3 which has the same screen, but it does have a more bold font than the Sonys so maybe I will.......just have to wait a couple of weeks for Waterstones to get the pink 350 in and till Xmas for my 650 !!
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:38 AM   #9
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Wow, that explains why readers include option (or so I was told) that allows to reduce contrast.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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Wow, that explains why readers include option (or so I was told) that allows to reduce contrast.
That is a very good point. The ereaders I have had did not have this option. However, I just took a look at the PRS-350 User's Guide on the US Sony site. There is an explanation on Page 52 about how to "Adjust View" under the Options Menu which allows the ability to custom adjust brightness and contrast. It is about time Sony finally added this feature! For the PRS-500 I remember reading (probably on this forum) how some users would remove the cover and adjust a knob on the hardware inside to change contrast. I did a quick search on "contrast" in the Amazon Kindle 3 User Guide. It does have the ability to change levels of contrast, but it was specifically mentioned with respect to viewing PDF files so I'm not sure if it applies to all types of files.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:13 PM   #11
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That is a very good point. The ereaders I have had did not have this option. However, I just took a look at the PRS-350 User's Guide on the US Sony site. There is an explanation on Page 52 about how to "Adjust View" under the Options Menu which allows the ability to custom adjust brightness and contrast. It is about time Sony finally added this feature! For the PRS-500 I remember reading (probably on this forum) how some users would remove the cover and adjust a knob on the hardware inside to change contrast. I did a quick search on "contrast" in the Amazon Kindle 3 User Guide. It does have the ability to change levels of contrast, but it was specifically mentioned with respect to viewing PDF files so I'm not sure if it applies to all types of files.
I think you are correct about the contrast adjustment for the K3 being only for PDFs. I tried it out and posted some images in the Kindle threads a couple weeks ago showing the five contrast settings. I think Amazon did that to make scanned PDFs more readable.

I'm might try changing the 350s contrast settings, but in my case I think it is the deep recess of the screen in relation with the bevel. I don't have the problem with my K3 which has nearly no recess. I read a while last night with both starting with the 350 and the bevel kept coming into focus and the text kept going out of focus. I think it will just take time to train my brain to focus only on the text! When I switched to the K3 the problem immediately went away. BTW, both the 350 and the K3 screens a nearly identical as far as contrast.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:32 PM   #12
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Hope I don't get the same problem. Is the recess that obvious then?
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:53 PM   #13
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Hope I don't get the same problem. Is the recess that obvious then?
Not to me.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:17 PM   #14
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Hope I don't get the same problem. Is the recess that obvious then?
It is to me, but my eyesight up close is bad. I'll let you be the judge, see attached photo of K3 and 350 next to each other.

EDIT: Something just occurred to me while looking at the photo. Maybe if I cover up the "Sony" label across the top bezel I won't have as much of a problem. I bet my brain is trying to change the focus back and forth between the Sony label and the eInk text abour 0.1" below it.

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Old 09-19-2010, 05:30 PM   #15
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I see what you mean, hope it doesn't bug me too much, mind you, now you've pointed it out I will be looking for it rofl

Yeah, try sticking something over the logo, see if it helps.....maybe fold a piece of foil over it to test, will blend with the silver lol
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